It’s always fun when a player is traded from one team to another and doesn’t gain or lose any value whatsoever. Can’t wait for Moneyball: The Movie. After the last image of Billy Beane patting Scott Hatteberg on the butt, the screen fades. Over black, we read: After three straight sub-.500 years, Billy Beane, still finding value where no one else is, traded for Conor Jackson, who failed to impress anyone ever but had a career .358 On Base Percentage. (I imagine Hollywood would spell out OBP.) Not one dry eye in the entire theater. Of course, the only ones in the theater are A’s fans, nevertheless! Pursue Jackson timidly in AL-Only leagues. Meanwhile, Gerardo Parra will take over for CoJo. This Parra doesn’t walk people, he runs. Unfortunately, he hasn’t run enough to make him that interesting in mixed leagues. Parra’s upside is 7 homers, 15 steals. He shouldn’t be a liability on average. Obviously, picking him up depends on your league, but he can be grabbed in NL-Only leagues. In most mixed leagues, I think there’s gotta be someone more suave than Gerardo. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Aaron Heilman – Will officially take over for Qualls. Every since Qualls had kneecap n’ crunch last year, he hasn’t seemed right. Hinch says he’ll let Qualls work in non-pressure situations so he can regain the closer role down the road. So in leagues where you were hoping to lose him, Qualls once again provides no relief. Pun point! Please, blog, may I have some more?
.288/.378/.535 in A and AA. Pedro Almodovar! Wait, rechecking my notes. Pedro Alvarez! Last year, Robot Jones and The Dread Pirate Triple Lindy’d into the Pirates mucky-muck with a certain panache (Pretentious Word of the Day!). Next up, is The Smashbuckler, the Pirates future 3rd baseman. Argh, into the bilgewater you go, LaRoche! You landlubber! Finally, Robot Jones and The Dread Pirate have a decent teammatey. Okay, I’m shutting off my English to Pirate translator. Alvarez took some time in 2009 to get going again after a broken hamate bone slowed him in 2008. By the 2nd half of the year, Alvarez was hitting for average and power in Double-A. (A September Scouting the Unknown further broke down Pedro Alvarez minor league stats.) He’s done more of the same in Triple-A this year. See no reason why he can’t continue the same trajectory in the majors, assuming he hasn’t had any lengthy conversations with Alex Gordon. Moderate power, less than moderate speed and decent average. After his call-up, let’s say a line of Runs/15/RBIs/.270/3 in 350 ABs. In keepers, pursue aggressively. In redraft leagues, depends on your current corner infidel situation. Though I will say that if he hits out of the gate, his value will go sky high and then you can trade him for a piece more valuable than him. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Brandon Phillips – Walt Jocketty said Phillips’s hammy won’t require a DL stint. Phillips said, “I’d kinda like to hear what a doctor has to say.”
Alfredo Simon – Was activated from the DL. Juan Schmoil said he’ll ease Simon back into the closer role so if you have room, I would wait until Simon earns a save before cutting Hernandez. Though ‘fredo can handle things! He’s smart! Please, blog, may I have some more?
The 27-year-old, no-name rookie, Daniel Nava, came out of nowhere, hitting a grand slam on the first major league pitch he saw. This all came after not making his college team, working as their equipment manager, finally playing college ball, going undrafted in the major league draft then being cut by the Chico Outlaws, which I believe is the minor league affiliate for Chico’s Bail Bonds. Even his ESPN player photo makes it seem like he was in the Witness Protection Program. Shoot, maybe he is. If so, I hope Hermida starts his car for him. Eventually, Nava caught on with the Outlaws, impressed the Sawx and the rest is history. Nava is old for a rookie and his success at the majors may be short-lived, but he showed a good eye in the minors with modest pop. He could be a flash-in-the-pan, but he’s worth grabbing in AL-Only leagues and monitoring in mixed leagues. He may get bumped when Ellsbury returns and then it’s back to egg noodles and ketchup. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:
Josh Beckett – Played catch from 90 feet. Guess when he returns he’s going to pitch from 2nd base. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Sounds like Jacoby Ellsbury will be out until the All-Star Break. Break being the key word. The Boston Globe reported that Ellsbury has, “a non-displaced rib fracture and edema in the left posterior-axillary line.” Ribs and edema? What’s that, a fusion Japanese-rib joint? The doctors didn’t find a blooming onion in there? Member in the preseason when I said you could have Ellsbury ten rounds later in Borbon? Borbon has not endeared himself in fantasy owners’ hearts yet, but he’s picking up his game of late, Ellsbury can’t pick himself out of a chair. Gotta hold Ellsbury if you have DL room and hope for a big 2nd half. I do have my doubts though about how well a guy is going to be able to steal, most specifically slide, when this latest injury happened diving for a ball. The good news is if you listened to me, you didn’t draft Ellsbury. Right? Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Carlos Santana – Getting called up for Friday’s game. Yes, the same catcher the Indians were waiting until August to bring up. Yes, the Indians were messing with you. Where do you think Justin Masterson: Passive Aggressive Fantasy Starter learned it from? As I’ve already said on the blog, I don’t expect the 2nd coming of Mike Piazza. At least not this year. Think about what you got from Matt Wieters last year. Shoot, think about what you got from him this year. If you’re starting Joe Schmohawk at catcher, sure, take a chance on some upside. I think he can give a bit more power than Posey, but they’re in the same ballpark. No, not literally. For this year, I’d give him a .280 average and 13 homers. Actually, I already wrote that. Here’s my Carlos Santana fantasy. In keepers, he should be owned already. If not, grab him immediately. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Jose Tabata, the Latin 21, one-time lauded Yankee prospect, was initially heralded as a power corner-OF but wrist issues have seem to have inspired Tabata to become the next Nyjer Morgan. He’ll likely have a harder time outrunning MLB catcher throws than those in AAA. And, much like his doughelganger ciabatta, the rest of his stats may be tough to swallow. (BTW, does he realize that the B in SB stands for base, not baby? Similar misconception for Kris Benson when he found out that SO stands for strikeouts and not slutty outfits.) Tabata went 2-for-4 with a steal, leaving with a leg cramp. He’ll be fine. I’d grab him in all but the shallowest leagues for steals. You could get some power. What’s the worst that happens? He goes 0-for-35 and steals your baby? Big whoop! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Brad Lincoln – 6 IP, 5 ER, 9 baserunners, 3 Ks. The Nats were treated to another major league debut… Jose Tabata. Oh, and Lincoln. I just went over Brad Lincoln for fantasy. After watching him, he didn’t change my mind about only grabbing him in NL-Only leagues. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Virginia is renaming a city for Stephen Strasburg. An old Yankee reliever is renaming himself Myke Stanton so he shows up again in Google. It’s a brand new day, Sting. You stink POO-holes, however you spell your name. Hanley, don’t wanna run out a pop-up? Have a good life! Change came, nephew. The mollywhopping, pony stick carrying, Mike Stanton is in town. No homers though. Sad trombone. 3-for-5 and a rope to right in his fourth at-bat. He looked fast down the line and absolutely gigantic. Like Frank Thomas big. Maybe it was the 3-D glasses I was wearing. Rudy and I were speaking about Stanton. We agreed. He could hit 15-20 homers and .280. Or he could hit .220. It’s rookie nookie, you gotta decide if it’s worth the blisters. Now for Big Baby Jesus, Stephen Strasburg. He had his last tune up tonight against minor league hitters… Oh, wait, that was the Pirates. My bad. Strasburg was introduced, “Last name: Ever. First name: Greatest.” For a nifty trick, in the 2nd inning he threw a 98 MPH fastball and also caught it. He looked flat-out dominating at times. Towards the end of the game, he really started heating up — maybe he put his arm in the microwave for 15 seconds on both sides — and he looked unhittable. He did after all strikeout 14 hitters. And he homered three times. Once off himself. At other times, he looked like a rookie making mistakes. I mean, he did give up a homer to Delwyn “I Don’t Even Know How To Spell My First Name” Young. I think there’s going to be a bunch of 6 inning, 2-3 earned run, 8-10 K games and some wins. Fantastic, for sure. He could win the Rookie of the Year over Heyward. But you didn’t just back into owning 1999 Pedro. Not yet at least. Maybe next year. Yesterday, one of our three girl readers got Sabathia, Dunn and Ervin for Strasburg. That’s tremendous value for Big Baby Jesus. I’d explore how hyped he is in your league too. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Cameron Maybin – Will sit in favor of Stanton. That’s so Maybin! Oh, wait. No, it’s not. In NL-Only keeper leagues, I would hold onto Maybin. Elsewhere… Well, if you worried your team can’t continue without Maybin, you have bigger fish to fry. Marlin pun! Kinda! Please, blog, may I have some more?
Dan Haren got the win yesterday, but his line was 5 2/3 IP, 3 ER, 11 baserunners and 5 Ks. Did he see his shadow in Spring Training and now think spring w0n’t start until August? Someone inform this young brother it’s the pre-All-Star Break. Ergo, therefore, vise a vie, he’s supposed to be pitching well now. He only has about a month before he turns into summer squash. Right? Well, what if he pitches well in the 2nd half this year? I know, it’s crazy talk from a guy that pees into milk bottles. So far this year, he has his best K-rate of his career. He has the 8th best K-rate in the major leagues. He also has the 2nd best K/BB in all of baseball. Just behind Roy Halladay. At his current rate, Haren would have his worst ERA since his first half year. That shizz doesn’t add up. Striking out people, not walking people and a terrible ERA? I know the 2nd half Boogie Monster scares Haren pretty good, but I think he might be able to fight the 2nd half terrors this year if his luck just evens out a little bit. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Dana Eveland – 5 IP, 3 ER, 8 baserunners, 0 Ks. Has a K:BB ratio of 21:29, which looks like a Roland Emmerich film. Both are terrible, by the way. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Javier Vazquez touched you in your no-no area for two months to the point where just looking at his name made you crawl up into a ball and cry, but yesterday he flirted with a no-no for seven innings. He held the 1927 Blue Jays to only one hit, a home run by HGH Wells. (In a strange twist, Bautista didn’t homer, but he did have sex with your wife. Don’t shoot the messenger!) So can Javier Vazquez now be trusted? The better question is did anyone really think he was the 8 ERA pitcher he was showing in April and May? Come on, this is baseball. It’s a sport of aberrations from day-to-day and week-to-week and month-to-month, but, in the end, people find their level. Vazquez is more or less a 4.50 ERA pitcher in the AL. So you need some months of dreckitude surrounded by some months of usability. Vazquez is still walking too many guys and, other than him striking out 9 Blue Kays yesterday and the Suckie-O’s the game before, his Ks have been down. So usable, but don’t expect a full return of 2009 Vazquez. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Mike Stanton – He’s coming up on Tuesday. Can you hear that? It’s my heart going pitter patter. Put your ear up to the computer monitor, you’ll hear it. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Matt Lindstrom threw 1 IP, 2 ER and his second blown save in two games and third in his last four. If you’re not reading this until Sunday, he probably blew another game. Oops, there goes another one. I grabbed Brandon Lyon in two leagues where he was available. If it was simply Lindstrom sucking, I’d say you can hold off, but Lindstrom said he has mechanical issues. You know what mechanical issues are code for, right? A breakdown. In the mean’s while, Lyon is just okay. If I said he was good, I’d be (Mad Lib in your own pun). But Lyon does have closing experience, so there’s that junebug on the duck’s back or some other yokelism. As for Matt Capps, his rope is a bit longer, but his shakes haven’t been great either. Yesterday, he went 2/3 IP, 3 unearned runs and the third time he was Cappsized this year. Ticker shock due to Cristian Guzman playing about fifty feet too far behind 2nd. It was Guzman’s third error of the game. [mind-boggling] I realize the Nats are the Nots without Guzman and all, but there really should’ve been a defensive replacement in this game. Please, blog, may I have some more?
In a year where umpires like Joe West and Bill Hohn are doing all they can to show they are far from perfect, Jim Joyce went one step further by having his imperfection blow someone else’s perfection. It’s like that O. Please, blog, may I have some more?